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SCUTTLEBUTT #426 - October 26, 1999

(The following editorial by Richard Hazelton is from the November issue of 48 Degrees North Sailing Magazine in Seattle, WA) Want exposure for your program as well as laying the groundwork for the next generation of sailors? Involve the kids. Everyone in today's sailing world, as everywhere else, is looking for funding - from one guy on a reed boat to multimillion dollar America's Cup syndicates. With so many different factions out there wanting to get into your pockets, is it any wonder that the public watching its so-called disposable income more closely?

Garnering a piece of your pie has become essential in getting any new project off the ground, so it's not surprising that yacht clubs and organizations that have been around so long they're taken for granted, are struggling to keep up in the competition for dollars? Today they've got to compete with the Seahawks, Sonics, Nintendo, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, soccer, and a million other things that vigorously go head-to-head with them for people; their time and their money. To compete you have to be visible; to be visible you have to have something to catch peoples attention, which nowadays means what's in it for them. One answer is to involve the kids. Helly Hansen brings Ed Baird to town to tout Young America's campaign - so what? The what is, he visits schools and involves kids building model boats and studying sailing all over the country.

This weekend the historic "R" boat Pirate was donated to the Center for Wooden Boats. So what - another wood boat presented to a few people that like the historic aspect of sailing. The what is that, not only is this historic boat returning to the Northwest, but Scott Rohrer and crew have set it up so that kids will be intimately involved with the project. Plans are being produced so they can build their own scale model boats to sail, with some getting to participate in the restoration of the real Pirate, as well as sail on her. Win, win, win.

There's always a lot of talk and concern about where the next generation of sailors is coming from, how we can get kids interested and keep them interested in sailing. Strong junior programs and projects like the ones above make sailing real to the kids. It involves real wind, wood and water, not to mention a lot of education wonderfully disguised as fun. And the media loves it. Show kids having fun sailing, working on boats, and you've got a leg up on the competition for air time, print space and those elusive dollars to make it all happen. -- Richard Hazelton, Editor, 48 North,

The Olympic Trials are over for 470, 49er and Mistral sailors. As was announced in 'Butt yesterday, Lanee Butler, Mike Gebhardt, and the doublehanded teams of Paul Foerster with Bob Merrick, JJ Isler with Pease Glaser, and brothers Jonathan McKee and Charlie McKee will be representing the US in the 2000 Olympic Games. Here's how they won the trials:

* '92 Flying Dutchman Olympic Silver Medalist Paul Foerster (Garland, Texas) and ICYRA All-American Bob Merrick (Portsmouth, R.I.) came from behind in almost a dozen of their 15 races to beat '92 Olympic Silver Medalists Morgan Reeser (Wilton Manors, Fla.) and Kevin Burnham (Coral Gables, Fla.). "The racing was much closer than the scores reflect," said Foerster, who ended the regatta with 19 points to Reeser/Burnham's 36. "I really think our downwind speed was the edge we had." Having secured their victory early, Foerster and Merrick sat out the last day. "This was good practice for Sydney," added Foerster, "For the most part, it was windy and shifty, just as the Olympic Sailing Committee had hoped." Merrick considered it advantageous to compete in the Trials a full year before the Olympic Regatta. "It forced us to be at a higher state of readiness earlier in the four-year cycle," said Merrick. "Now we can spend more time concentrating on training for Sydney."

* '92 470 Women's Olympic Bronze Medalist JJ Isler (La Jolla, Calif.) and Pease Glaser (Long Beach, Calif.) had a close 15-race series with second-place finishers '96 Europe Olympic Bronze Medalist Courtenay Dey (The Dalles, Ore.) and ICYRA All-American Alice Manard (New Orleans, La.). "Two days ago, we had a three-point lead with eight races to go," said Isler at the conclusion of racing. "Today Courtenay had to win both races and put a boat between us. She did that in the first race, but then we won the last race and Courtenay was fourth." Isler and Glaser posted 21 total points to Dey and Manard's 25. For Glaser, the victory was especially sweet. As the longest consecutive member of the US Sailing Team (13 years), she has launched three previous Olympic campaigns -- as a 470 and Tornado skipper. "I guess it pays to persevere," said Glaser.

* For Jonathan and Charlie McKee, their participation in the Olympic debut of the 49er class will mark the second trip for both to the Olympic Games. Over 21 races, Jonathan, the '84 Flying Dutchman Olympic Gold Medalist, and Charlie, '88 470 Olympic Bronze Medalist, maneuvered Team McLube to accumulate 29 points and a five-point lead over West Marine Products, sailed by three-time ('99, '98, '97) 49er World Bronze Medalists Morgan Larson (Capitola, Calif.) and Kevin Hall (Ventura, Calif). "It was excellent competition," said skipper Jonathan McKee. "It came down to the last day, when we wrapped it up right before the last of four races." McKee explained that to stretch the battle out to the final race, Larson and Hall had to win race 20 with the McKee's finishing third or worse. The McKee's won, with Larson/Hall finishing third. "We are pretty evenly matched," continued McKee, noting that at major regattas the two teams have beat each other about the same number of times over the past three years. "We had a few good breaks this time and got ahead."

* Mike Gebhardt (Ft. Pierce, Fla.), a three-time Olympian with two medals ('92 Silver, '88 Bronze) launched his 14-race series with eight straight victories. "By that time I knew that, barring catastrophe, I could win the series," said Gebhardt, who sewed up his series before the last two races. Gebhardt will travel to Noumea, New Caledonia, in November to attempt to qualify the U.S. its Mistral Men's berth to the 2000 Olympics.

* Two-time Olympian ('92, '96) Lanee Butler (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) turned in a perfect score to win her 14-race Mistral series and mathematically had wrapped up her victory before the last three races. The Olympic Sailing Committee couldn't have picked a better place to have the Trials," said Butler, "After Hurricane Irene blew through and we had one light-air day, it was 80 degrees and we always had planing conditions." Hoping that the adage "three's a charm" will work for her in her third try for an Olympic medal, Butler will head back to Sydney, Australia, where she has been living and training.

Trials for the remaining Olympic classes are scheduled as follows: the Tornado Trials will be held March 23 - April 2, 2000, at Santa Cruz Yacht Club (Santa Cruz, Calif.). California's San Francisco Bay will be the location of the Europe, Finn, Laser and Star Trials from April 6-16, 2000, as well as the Soling Trials from June 1-11, 2000. Richmond Yacht Club (Pt. Richmond) will host the Finn class, St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco) will host the Soling and Star classes, and San Francisco Yacht Club (Belvedere) will host the Europe and Laser classes. The Olympic Regatta is scheduled for September 16-October 1, 2000, in Sydney, Australia. -- Jan Harley

Full results:

There is a difference between news and commentary. If you're like the curmudgeon, you want both. When it comes to the America's Cup, you can get them both at one place. Written by people who have solid credentials to give you each. And in the same place you'll find a scorecard, AC photos, audio and video reports, Cup history, a glossary, and links to all of the syndicates. There is even a link to official America's Cup merchandise. One stop America's Cup web shopping? You bet! And it's all at the Quokka America's Cup website:

* AUCKLAND, NZ, 26 OCTOBER 1999--The possibilities of further delays to Louis Vuitton Cup racing loomed large in Auckland today, with less than 24 hours to go to the already-postponed final day of racing in Round Robin One.

By day's end, AmericaOne's races against Young America and Young Australia 2000 had been postponed to Thursday. And weather watchers were studying the advance of an approaching cold front that threatened to wash out racing on Wednesday with winds of 20-30 knots. The Race Committee will make a decision on any possible weather delay at 0630 hours Auckland time on Wednesday morning.

This afternoon the International Jury granted the AmericaOne syndicate an additional 24 hours to complete repairs to its boat, damaged in a collision last Saturday. The jury acted after the Measurers reported that repairs, which have already consumed three days, were only 50 per cent complete this morning.

For more information, visit the Louis Vuitton Cup website:

* FAST 2000's Be Happy, soon to reveal its radical keel configuration to a curious world, will not be at the start line when racing resumes in round one of the Louis Vuitton challenger series Wednesday. The Swiss yacht will be laid up continuing "drastic" repairs when a 72-hour suspension in racing, awarded by the international jury as a mercy measure, runs out tomorrow. FAST 2000 will forfeit races 10 and 11 against Spain and Nippon, each worth a point, in the hope of having the yellow boat fully repaired by Thursday.

Meanwhile, co-designer Peter Van Oosanen said Be Happy, which has been a staple of dockyard gossip since its arrival in Auckland in early September, will fully reveal its much-talked-about keel structure later this week. The Swiss syndicate has stayed quiet about the keel arrangement and the manner in which its boat is steered, though early television pictures seemed to reveal two keels -- one forward of the mast and another aft. Helmsman Jochen Schumann later confirmed the boat is steered simultaneously from two wheels.

Van Oosanen, credited with the design of the winged keel of the 1983 cup winner Australia II, said that while Be Happy would reveal its appendages, FAST 2000 are unlikely to say much about the wider principles of its design. -- Steve McMorran, Quokka Sports,

* Today was a well-deserved day off for most of the AmericaOne team. Not, however, for our "boat doctors" including Shore Team Manager Brad Fitzgerald, USA 49 Captain Josh Belsky and Principle Designer Bruce Nelson and their colleagues. Since Saturday afternoon they have been working nearly 'round-the-clock' assessing then repairing the extensive damage to 49's hull caused by Stars & Stripes in Race 9. -- Gina Von Esmarch,

* "We are more ready than I've ever been going into the Louis Vuitton Cup," Prada coach Rod Davis said before the racing started, and he hasn't seen much to change his mind. "You take all the luck out of it and the three teams are about even in speed [and] seem to be better than the rest of the fleet," Davis said. "America True seems to be just off the pace."

Davis, who watches the races from a chase boat, gives (skipper Francesco) de Angelis high grades so far. "Francesco has had a brilliant run going on the starting line. He had a bad start against [Young America's] Ed Baird. He isn't especially aggressive, which is probably a spin-off on my style, but he's certainly not intimated by anybody out there.

"I don't see match racing as a weak point for this team any longer. The boys know how to brawl if they have to." But they are short on one commodity. "We don't have many excuses," Davis said. -- Rich Roberts, Quokka Sports,

* After several hours of deliberation, the International Jury for the Louis Vuitton Cup Series decided to give Stars & Stripes a one half point penalty for a pre-start collision on Saturday with AmericaOne. In issuing their ruling, the Jury cited Racing Rule 14, which says in part that "A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible." They concluded that Stars & Stripes was responsible for the collision and with this decision they sent a message to all competitors that they simply will not tolerate contact between boats.

"We're disappointed with the decision," said Stars & Stripes helmsman Ken Read. "While we don't think the facts of the situation supported the imposition of the half point penalty, we understand their desire to make it clear to all of the competitors that sailing is not a contact sport.

"In any event, that's behind us behind us now," Read continued. "All of us are focusing on making the changes to our boat that will insure that Stars & Stripes is faster in Round Two than we were in our initial races. We know that's doable!" -- Stars & Stripes website,

1. Prada 8 -0 8
2. AmericaOne 7-1 7
3. Young America 7-1 7
4. America True 5-3 5
5. Spain 4-4 4
6. Abracadabra 4-5 4
7. Nippon 4-4 3.5*
8. Stars & Stripes 3-5 2.5*
9. Le Defi BTT 2-7 2
10. Young Australia 1-7 1
11. FAST 2000 0-8 0

* Penalty assessed for boat contact

Letters selected to be printed are routinely edited for clarity, space (250 words max) or to exclude personal attacks. And you only get one letter per subject, so think it through carefully.

-- From Dan Crowley (Re: Mike Lawrence's shackle question in scuttlebutt #425) -- I believe Peter Gilmour noted that the shackle manufacturer in question was Sparcraft. I found that to be very interesting. Did he mention the manufacturer's name on purpose? Was it really a "Sparcraft?" I used to work for a shackle manufacturer, and noticed that many people will look at any trigger release shackle, and generically call it a "Sparcraft." Just like most people look at a paper photocopy and call it a "Xerox." If, in fact, the failed shackle that cracked the skull of the Nippon bowman was a Sparcraft, then Gilmour's mention of the company name must have been done on purpose.

-- From Rich Roberts -- As many others have no doubt told you, they were Sparcrafts. In fact, the first references were simply that the "Sparcraft" opened -- without using the word "shackle." Prada, in particular, implies there is no suitable option because Sparcraft is the best. Baird wouldn't say whether the thing failed or somebody neglected to snap it properly. Any idea what one of these things costs?

-- From Pete Melvin -- The team of Howard Hamlin and Mike Martin have significantly raised the level of 505 sailing in this country. They have tirelessly promoted and developed the class by actively recruiting the best sailors and unselfishly sharing their information. Prior to this years' much-deserved win at the 505 Worlds, they finished second in the last three Worlds. This year and last year, American 505 sailors finished first and second in the Worlds. It was no coincidence that most of the equipment and tuning used by these teams was developed by the Mike and Howard. These guys get my vote for Sailor of the Year.

-- From Jay Glaser -- Perhaps Bob Burns would have a different view on hunting if he experienced crossing situations going 25 knots. You can imagine that the closing speeds would leave little time for reacting if the starboard skipper decided to dial up or down even a few degrees. The result of a small error in judgement is also much higher at these speeds. Sounds crazy but this is what cat sailors see all of the time sailing downhill in big breeze. We are gybing through the same angles as the lead mine sailors are tacking through upwind but have much less time to react to aggressive tactics by right of way boats. The rules need to promote safe and fair sailing for all kinds of boats.

-- From Robin Baker -- One of the things I really like about Scuttlebutt is that I now understand how hard we amateurs need to fight to try to retain control of our sport and keep it out of the hands of the professionals. Peter Hudson's comments about the hunting rule demonstrate this clearly. Excellent responses by Skip Ely and Jerry Kaye. We need to be vigilant and not let the sport change hands (and character) by default. The goals and objectives of the pros are different from the rest of us.

West Coast yachties should clear their calendars for November 6 and go to San Diego's Sunroad Marina in to learn out about the growing 1D 35 fleet . . . and take a test sail. Meet builder Barry Carroll and designer Greg Stewart from Nelson/Marek, and see for yourself why there already are 40 of these hot new boats on the water and racing. Could it be the simple rig without runners or backstay, the amateur/owner driver rule, sail limitations or the tight class rules? Chris Busch will answer those questions from 10 AM to 6 PM ... or before: (619)804-6335,

JUST ANOTHER DAY OFFSHORE - Transat Jacques Vabre An update on the repairs on board Aquitaine Kingfisher came in today from Ellen MacArthur: Pretty exhausted.. Started at 4am , and still up. Feeling lucky to be alive after hours up the rig, one of the hardest physical challenges ever... Waves after a big storm, came down in 30 knots after dark, just after a rain squall.... Alot of bruises, very sore. But lucky. It's hard to describe how it feels to hang on up there. Like trying to grip onto an enormous shiny pole (which for me is just too big to get my arms around properly), with someone continually kicking you, and trying to shake you off. 3As a result now have two new backstays, made from splicing up two main halyards together, slipping one spectra line inside another etc.. Tomorrow we'll do both shrouds..How wonderful it feels to be charging along.

Latest Positions: (Leader has 2621 miles to go) 1. Whirlpool (Chabaud/Bartissol) 2. Somewhere (Thiercelin/Mallaret) 3. Sodebo (Coville/Jan) 4. Sill Enterprises (Jourdain/Le Cam) 5. Group IV (Golding/Danby) 6. Aquitaine-Kingfisher (MacArthur/Parlier) 7. Gartmore (Thomson/Hall) 8. Spirit of Race (Fineschi/Fineschi)

Bruce Schwab's "Made In America" challenge for the Vendee Globe Race has a new website:


"Happiness is good health and a bad memory." - Ingrid Bergman